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Mailbag: Dez's Offseason Workload? Doing The Roster Math On Offense?

Jack BrezetteLubbock, Texas
What approach will the club take in regards to Dez Bryant during these upcoming OTAs and minicamps?   

Bryan: The medical staff has always taken a cautious approach when dealing with the recovery of their players. With that being said, Bryant is going to need work getting ready for training camp. Let's remember what happened last season with the missed offseason workouts, the hamstring injury in training camp and the unfortunate foot injury opening day. Bryant might not participate early in these practices but the closer we get to camp I could see him in the mix.

David:It sounds like the coaches are targeting June as Bryant's return date, so I'm not expecting to see too much of No. 88 when OTAs begin next week. Obviously he'll be out there, but I wouldn't expect him to mix into things until maybe minicamp. In all honesty, it wouldn't be totally surprising to see them hold off on giving Dez the green light until training camp. If he can condition with the rest of the team, the next-biggest priority should be protecting his health.

You've said you expect the Cowboys to carry 4 running backs into the season.  Do you expect them to also carry 4 tight ends?

Bryan: I have gone on record saying that I don't believe they carry four running backs on the roster. I do believe you will only see three because they are going to have to carry an extra quarterback. As far as four tight ends, I don't see that either. I would expect that Rico Gathers is going to show what he can potentially do, which means Geoff Swaim is going to have to once again make this roster. When it gets close to cut down time, these roster spots are going to be too valuable to be going heavy at positions that don't need to be.

David:I talked about this recently in our tight end feature. I do think they'll carry four running backs, one way or another. They'll also need to carry three quarterbacks, and I won't be surprised if they go heavy on the defensive line due to the suspensions. When you start to do the numbers, it's hard to imagine them carrying four tight ends in a scenario like that. Jason Witten and James Hanna have assured roster spots, and my guess is that Geoff Swaim is capable of beating out Rico Gathers – but we'll see. Along a similar line of logic, I have a hard time believing the Cowboys carry more than five wide receivers.

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